Unlocking Life's Code
The dendritic cell (DC) is a cornerstone for a proper adaptive immune response. When a DC detects a pathogen it launches a specific transcriptional program that leads to DC maturation and an ensuing adaptive immune response. To this day, we still do not understand how the underlying transcriptional regulatory networks relate DC maturation in response to specific stimuli including pathogen detection. Without detailed knowledge of these regulatory networks it is impossible to predict the impact of genomic variations on the capacity of DCs to mount a proper response. More generally, a better understanding of how specific gene regulatory networks operate during DC maturation can be used to control DCs and has the potential for a broad-spectrum of applications reaching from improved vaccination efforts to controlling autoimmunity.